A new fiscal year starts Friday but state legislative leaders have yet to find common ground on how to fund education and government operations.
Lawmakers are back in Springfield today (Wednesday) where they could take up a variety of measures to fund schools for the entire year and a stopgap plan to fund government operations. After a three-hour meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders Tuesday evening, House Speaker Michael Madigan emerged and said he believes the leaders had a productive day.
“There are a lot of proposals on the table, a lot of good ideas and I just told the group that my suggestion would be that we sleep on it over the night, come back first thing in the morning and go at it again. I’m optimistic,” Madigan said.
Republican Sen. Christine Radogno said progress has been made but, “Caution is always in order."
Republican state Rep. Jim Durkin said leaders had a healthy discussion about solving the impasse. “I would just say that we’re taking a very global perspective of the budget and we’re looking at a lot of things, so I don’t think we want to get into any specific area that’s currently under negotiation but we made progress.”
Durkin said the leaders would reconvene in the morning to continue negotiations.
Leaders from both chambers and parties have floated several measures to fund K-12 schools for the entire school year and stopgap measures for government operations, some human services and construction projects.